Czech morning new in brief: top headlines for March 30, 2021

New travel restrictions from the Czech Republic to South America, lone survivor of Kellner crash identified, Czechs quitting smoking due to Covid. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.03.2021 09:48:00 (updated on 30.03.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech snowboard champion is lone survivor of Kellner crash

The only survivor of the Saturday helicopter crash in Alaska, which claimed the life of Czech billionaire Petr Kellner and five others during a heli-skiing out to a local glacier, is Czech snowboarder David Horváth. According to the Alaskan authorities, the ten-time Czech snowboarding champion is in serious but stable condition at a hospital in Anchorage. The 48-year-old published photos of the Knik Glacier to his Facebook profile on Saturday. The chopper carrying a group of skiers on the Alaskan glacier crashed shortly before 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to Kellner and Horváth, his coach Benjamin Larochaix, a man from Colorado and two passengers from Alaska, one of whom was the pilot, were on board according to a police report

Travel from Czech Republic to Colombia and Peru banned

Czech citizens and foreigners based in the Czech Republic will not be allowed to travel to Colombia and Peru, which were listed among countries with extreme Covid-19 from April 12 to May 31, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told journalists after a cabinet meeting Monday. For one month now, Czechs have been banned from traveling to the countries with an extreme risk of the spread of the South African mutation of coronavirus, including Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Passengers returning to the Czech Republic from very-high-risk (dark red) countries must undergo a PCR test before departure, and are required to quarantine at home after arrival. After five days, they can undergo another PCR test and end quarantine if the test result is negative. At present, the dark-red countries on the map are a small section of EU states and most third countries, including Britain.

More Czechs trying to quit smoking over Covid fears, rise in cigarette prices

A number of Czechs turned to doctors last year for help quitting smoking either out of fear of developing a severe case of Covid-19 due to smoking or for financial reasons, smoking cessation specialist Eva Kralikova told CTK. In contrast, some recent studies suggest Czechs smoke more over the stress related to the coronavirus pandemic. Kralikova says smoking causes one in six deaths in Czechia. The National Health Institute (SZU) reports there have been fewer smokers in Czechia in recent years and less than 25 percent of Czechs over 15 lights up a cigarette regularly or occasionally.

Government approves five-billion crown transfer to defence budget

The Czech government approved the transfer of CZK 5 billion from the state budget reserve to the military, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar tweeted Monday. The cabinet promised the money to the military at the end of last year and the end of March was the latest deadline, Metnar said. The military plans to use the money mainly for soldiers' salaries. "The fight with coronavirus showed again the importance of the Czech military. Everybody praises soldiers. I am glad we will not save money on them," Metnar said. Chief-of-Staff Ales Opata said the military takes the money for social and health insurance of soldiers and their bonuses from regular expenses. This could be done until April for the last time.

Plzeň Liberation Festival to be held online due to Covid-19

The city of Plzeň will move its Liberation Festival, commemorating the city's liberation by the U.S. Army 76 years ago, online. The digital event will be held on May 6 to 9 and will entail live coverage, interviews, and music performances broadcast from a studio. In 2020, on the occasion of the 75th liberation anniversary from the Nazi occupation during World War II, Plzeň prepared spectacular festivities that were eventually scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The online event was watched by 45,000 people. The festivities kick off with the Thanks, America! memorial on May 6. The ceremony will feature live interviews with American and Belgian WWII veterans. The height of the festivities is the May 9 Convoy of Liberation. There also be an outdoor game Path to Liberty, navigating the players through places linked to the liberation.

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